Primarily an illustrator and draughtsman, Bartolomeo Pinelli (d.1835) studied at the Accademia di San Luca and later at the Accademia Clementina, Bologna, before returning to his native Rome in 1800. There he sculpted works in the neoclassical style and particularly in the manner of his contemporaries Canova and Thorwaldsen. A follower of the then fashionable purist school of sculpture, he executed small genre groups in terracotta, examples of which may be found in the Museo di Palazzo Venezia, Rome.
At the start of the 19th century Pinelli belonged to a school of innovative Italian artists who chose to portray rustic and everyday scenes of life in small-scale statuary. Pinelli, in direct contrast to his contemporary Antonio Canova, sold his works in Roman cafés to tourists, while Canova received commissions from Napoleon, Washington and Ferdinand IV of Naples. The present lot is typical of Pinelli in that it rejects the mainstream neoclassical tradition and focuses instead on naturalism and the representation of his fellow Romans.